LTTE 's so-called "International Secretariat" housed in a small office at St Katherine Road in East London is no longer a busy place though press releases to the media still bears this address. The telephone number assigned to this office is connected to a recording machine which directs callers to a mobile number.
The reason? Well, one may think they are now in a bad way, at least economically speaking.
No. They have now acquired a four storeyed building in South East London and named it "Eelam House". It is not only propaganda operations that are being carried out from this office. They have gone into new fields.
One division in this office with modern office equipment including computers is handling investments. Selected individuals are being issued loans of 15,000 Sterling Pounds each. The recipients are required to pay back the capital, interest plus a percentage of their profits. Bigger sums for bigger deals have also been made.
Of course they do not go in the name of the organisation. One of the newer areas they have gone into is the currency business - changing money. A few petrol stations have also been acquired. Fuel is cheapest in some of their outfits.
A book which is important reading for those at defence academies in India makes an interesting revelation.
The book is titled "Intelligence Services" - analysis, organisation and function, and is authored by Dr. Bhashyam Kasturi, a Ph. D. from Delhi University, a writer on defence matters and Editor of the Indian Defence Review.
The revelation is about none other than the late Mr. Gopalaswamy Parthasa-rathy, the man who was tasked by late Indian Premier Indira Gandhi to negotiate peace in Sri Lanka. He came to Colombo many a time to meet President J.R. Jayewardene and talk to Tamil leaders.
This is what Dr. Kasturi's book says about the peace messiah.
"...The other legacy from the Indira Gandhi days was Sri Lanka. In her second term in office, Mrs. Gandhi decided to relive the Bangladesh operation all over. She instructed Kao to train Tamil separatists. The entire operation was co-ordinated by G. Parthasarathy and the Cabinet Secretariat. The people who trained the Tamil separatists were ex-servicemen re-employed by SFF (Special Frontier Force) and SSB (Special Services Bureau), in camps in Tamil Nadu and Chakrata. The problem with this plan was that it was not co-ordinated with India's foreign policy objectives, as in Bangladesh. The other problem was that there was no single group to train and control. Too many groups and the lack of decision on who to back till much later, caused confusion.
"The change in PMs when Rajiv came to power, also saw a lessening of RAW's offensive in Sri Lanka. Then came the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord, which changed the scene totally...", says Dr, Kasturi.
Who is this Kao? Well! well !! Mr. R.N. Kao was then head of RAW, India's external intelligence agency. When the late Mrs. Gandhi came to power in 1980, Kao was also National Security Adviser to the PM.
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